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The iPhone 12 Mini Is As Terrific As It Is Tiny

It's the smallest iPhone that Apple has made in years, yet still has an excellent camera and display.

iphone 12 mini review
Tucker Bowe

The iPhone 12 mini is small. Like really small. I'm been using it for the last week and every time I pick it I'm surprised just how light and tiny it feels in my hand. And, to be honest, that's the main thing you need to know. If you're looking for tiny iPhone with a great display and an excellent camera — this is it.

The iPhone 12 mini's 5.4-inch display may sound kind of big in the abstract. The new iPhone SE has 4.7-inch display, after all. But with the iPhone 12 mini, there's no Home button or extra large bezels. It's all screen (save for the notch). The mini is actually smaller despite having the bigger screen.

after years of using bigger smartphones, I just love how the mini feels cute and different

The mini has many other features that will give anybody with an older iPhone cause to upgrade, of course. The iPhone 12 mini has an OLED display, helping it deliver brighter colors and better contrast. It has Apple's newest A14 Bionic processor, so it feels really snappy. It's got a great camera that's capable for capturing Portrait and Night mode photos. It, along the rest of the iPhone 12 lineup, is the first smartphone able to shoot 4K video with Dolby Vision, so videos just look that much more cinematic. It supports 5G, making it pretty future-proof. And the mini is compatible with Apple's slick-new ecosystem of MagSafe chargers and accessories.

iphone 12 mini review
Tucker Bowe
iphone 12 mini review
Tucker Bowe
iphone 12 mini review
Tucker Bowe
iphone 12 mini review
Tucker Bowe

The iPhone 12 mini does have a smaller battery than the iPhone 12, which is understandably a concern. A big bright screen and a small battery doesn't seem like a recipe for a long-lasting smartphone. On top of that, the iPhone 12 mini doesn't boast the same rate of wireless charging via MagSafe that its compatriots do. But in the few days I've had the iPhone 12 mini, I haven't really had any issue with its battery life. It's not amazing, but I don't think the normal-sized iPhone 12's battery life is really something to write home about either.

But beside the battery and charging differences, the only reason to really not love the iPhone 12 mini is if you're somebody who wants a big screen. But for me, the size is the thing to love most about the mini. I love the fact that it can fit slip into the back pocket of my running shorts no problem. And, after years of using and testing bigger smartphones, I just love the fact that the 12 mini feels cute, cool and different.

The mini is still fairly expensive at $699, which is $100 less expensive than the iPhone 12 and $300 more expensive than the iPhone SE. And you'll probably want to buy the 128GB option (instead of the base 64GB), which adds another $50. And if you're buying an unlocked version, Apple adds another $30 to the final price. But if you're looking for the ultimate tiny iPhone, the mini is absolutely it.

Price: $699+

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